Perfumes & Fragrances: A Primer

Perfumes & Fragrances: A Primer 5.00/5 (100.00%) 5 votes

Perfumes make you smell good and provide the ‘oomph’ factor to your personality. Fragrances help you make a solid impression, complete your look, lift your confidence and boost your mood.

Any perfume is a mixture of aromatic oils, solvents, compounds that exude an exotic smell. It is derived from the Latin word “perfumare” which means ‘to smoke through’. Perfume originated in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Egyptians associated it to God and used it in religious ceremonies.  Glass and perfume bottles were first invented by Egyptians around 1000 BC.

Tapputi, the world’s first recorded chemist created perfume by distilling oils, flowers and calamus (a monocot flowering plant) around 2000 BC in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).

Africans used fragrant oils to protect their skin from the hot sun. In Mediterranean, athletes greased their bodies with fragrant unguents (a greasy substance) before running. During the Indus valley civilization (3300 BC-1300 BC), ‘Ittar’ was manufactured as an agent to purify the soul and was the first perfume in India.

In the ninth century, an Arab Chemist, Al-Kindi wrote “Book of the Chemistry of Perfume and Distillations” describing numerous ways to make perfume. Ibn Sina, a Persian chemist, discovered the method of extracting oil from flowers, around the first century. He first experimented with rose.

In 1221, perfume made its way to Western Europe. Hungary water, a perfume made of scented oil was manufactured in 1370 on the orders of Queen Elizabeth of Hungary.

In 1656, the use of perfumes grew steadily. In the court of Louis XV, perfume was applied to the curtains, furniture, and clothing.

In 1693, Giovanni Paolo Feminis an Italian barber made Aqua Admirabilis, the famous Eau de Cologne. Italy, France, Calabria began to grow aromatic plants and subsequent events boosted the perfume industry, which has been on a roll ever since.


Perfume v/s Eau De Parfum v/s Eau De Toilette v/s Eau De Cologne

Do you know about each type of perfume that is available in the market? Do you get confused while choosing a perfume because you’re unsure about the difference between an Eau De Cologne and an Eau De Toilette?

Here’s help..

Perfume: The scent you find in the stores is not pure perfume essence, it is a diluted version. However, from all the other fragrance options, perfume is the most concentrated and therefore, it is somewhat oilier and contains 15-40% pure perfume essence. It is expensive because of this reason. It has a marginally thicker, oilier consistency. It is sold with ‘stopper bottles’ and not sprays. It is too strong to be sprayed all over.

Real musk and ambergris are expensive and unpleasant in their pure form, so even a single drop can significantly increase the cost of a scent, and yet you wouldn’t need more than that single drop to smell great.

Eau de Perfume / (Parfum): This uses a lesser volume of perfume essence, and more of alcohol and water. This implies the scent is somewhat lighter and for the most part doesn’t keep going as long, It is obviously less expensive. Ordinarily there will be 10-20% perfume essence in Eau de Perfume. It is sold in normal bottles or sprays.

Eau de Toilette: This is lighter than Eau De Perfume and normally sold in spray bottles. It’s lightness makes it ideal to spray on. Usually, such scents contain 4-15% of perfume essence.

Eau de Cologne: Cologne is a shortened form of ‘eau de Cologne’ and is the French word for the city of Köln where this particular aroma was first made. There are specific aromas mixes that make ‘eau de cologne.’ These are light, fresh and fruity and contain key oils, lemon, bergamot, orange and furthermore the absolute neroli. They might also contain lavender and rosemary oils. Eau de Cologne has a very weak perfume essence concentration of just 2-5%. It is the most diluted version of perfumes and is suitable for younger people to splash all over.



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